A clergy, Reverend Father Dr. Anthony Oluwagbemiga Igbekele has charged alumni on the need to live up to the expectations of their Alma Mata, Saint Joseph College (SJC), Ondo, Ondo State.
Igbekele who is also the President, 1978-1983 Set, St. Joseph’s College Old Boys’ Association stated this at the formal handing over of a health bay to SJC.
While calling for all hands to be on deck for the sustainable development of the institution, he argued that the task of educating the citizenry and the promotion of education should not be left for the government alone.
He hinged his argument on the fact that citizens trained in our educational institutions are the children of some human persons and these persons have a stake in the overall training and formation of their children and wards.
His words: “Religious bodies, because of their role in the spiritual development of their members, constitute another major stakeholder. Consequently, effective collaboration between government and stakeholders is important if the goal of a holistic education is not going to be an exercise in futility and a mirage. What we are here to commission is fundamental to that collaborative vision and a little contribution towards making a holistic education possible in our great SJC”.
According to him, our set was the 22nd of the great sets produced by this institution. We came in here in 1978 with bright wide eyes and great expectations. We were lucky and privileged to have been formed in this great institution.
Going down memory lane, the cleric said: “We were indeed lucky. In June, 1983, we bade SJC goodbye and are happy to report here that we have been blessed by God in the different paths of life that we chose. Suffice to note here that we never gathered together as a set from that time until 2017, when we gathered for the first time and inaugurated our set meeting and elected the set executive to pilot the affairs of our group. I am happy to announce to you that from that time till now, our passion and goal have been centred on what we could offer our great mother and how we could pay back a little for all the good that SJC did for us. All our financial commitments since that time have been channeled towards making our Alma Mata great.
He averred that the health bay project cannot come at a better time than this when the whole world reels from the devastating scourge of a global Covid-19 pandemic.
He expressed delight that the good Lord has largely spared our nation and most of our dear continent from the ravaging effects of this global health challenge.
“We are not unmindful of the need to be on our guard to forestall the spread of this dreaded disease. Covid-19 is real and the least we can do is to protect ourselves and maintain all the safety protocols. This health bay is therefore timely as it will contribute to the overall health of the staff and students of our Alma Mata”, he added.
The Reverend Father who is also the Vice Rector, Saints Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State thanked members of the association for accomplishing the building of the health bay project within three years of their coming together as a set.
Said he: “It is indeed a laudable thing that we have been able to give this little back to our Alma Mata for the benefit of our children and the generation coming behind us. Doing this is also meant to be an example and a motivation for the present generation of students who in their turn will soon be alumni, never to forget to make their contribution towards the good of their Alma Mata”.
He enjoined the staff and management of SJC to ensure that the facility is well maintained so that it can serve the purpose for which it is intended.
He also used the occasion to asked Ondo State Educational Authorities to partner with SJC in providing the staff for health bay.
“A school with the huge population of students, such as we have in SJC, should have at least a qualified nurse to run the Health Bay. We hereby appeal to the Ministry of Education to do the needful in this regard”, he added.